sphealey
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Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:06 am

Over at Enplaned there is a current discussion concerning good books about the airline and airliner industries. The author has asked for recommendations and reviews from readers, and I thought a.netters might have some good suggestions. The type of books being discussed are commercial histories, not type-specific or photo-heavy enthusiast publications. If you know of any you might want to go there and leave a post (which can be anonymous), or put it in this thread and I will summarize in a day or two.

Enplaned has a number of interesting essays by the way. There does not appear to be any information on who the author is though!

sPh
 
Otter79
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:22 am

"Hard Landing" by Petzinger.

Best book I ever read on the airline industry... period. Entertaining and educational.
 
APFPilot1985
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:31 am

Quoting Otter79 (Reply 1):
"Hard Landing" by Petzinger.

Best book I ever read on the airline industry... period. Entertaining and educational.

Damnit you beat me to it, Awesome book.

If you are looking for some books that talk about the history of the industry, North Star Over My Shoulder by Bob Buck and Fate is the Hunter by Ernie Gann are good. Countdown by Frank Borman talks about his tenure at Eastern Some.
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cedarjet
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:34 am

Empires of the Sky (Coronet Books) by Anthony Sampson is an essential starting point. It was published in 1985 but it is pretty much up to date, it mainly covers the growth of the industry from the 50s up to the mid 80s so it covers the introduction of jets, the beginning of global mass transit and deregulation. You can get it on Amazon.co.uk (via Marketplace) for a few quid.

Also Frequent Flyer (One Plane, One Passenger, and the Spectacular Feat of Commercial Flight) by Bob Reiss, published in 1994, where the author rides on a Delta L1011 for a few days (ATL-LAX-HNL-LAX-SLC etc) and along the way delves into all kinds of aspects of the industry and the operation. Highly recommended and very readable.

Also Skygods by Robert Gandt (recently reissued), the history of the jetage through the eyes of a Pan Am pilot who joins in the early 60s as a junior first officer as part of Pan Am's massive recruitment drive for pilots to fly their burgeoning 707 fleet ("congratulations men, you're going to be SST captains!") up to the bankruptcy in 1991, covering the crashes of the late 60s (five 707s lost in a couple of years), the National Airlines debacle, the IGS, Lockerbie and the UA buyouts. Fascinating and beautifully written, embracing both the business and some great flying stories.

And of course the all time essential read: Fate Is The Hunter by Ernest K Gann. I shall nothing of this book except to say you have to read it if you want to be a member of the club.
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planespotting
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:55 am

I love industry books...here are a few:

Hard Landing and Rapid Descent are both great books detailing the deregulation of the industry, and give a great viewpoint of what goes on "behind the scenes".

Also, I would reccomend Splash of Colors: The Self Destruction of Braniff International. Like most books about the industry, it is fairly light and it reads quite fast. This book is spectacular in how it details exactly what happened with Braniff and it's employees.
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cs03
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:14 am

All of the books noted in replies #1-#3 are good, but another good read is "Blind Trust" by John J. Nance. (1986) It covers deregulation of the Industry. (author of "Spash of Colors").
 
EMBQA
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:22 am

'Nuts' The story of Soutwest Airlines
'From Worst to First' The story of Continental Airlines.

Both are out of print, so you'll need to do some digging.
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airportugal310
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:33 am

I just got my copy of "From Worst to First" in the mail.

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 6):
Both are out of print, so you'll need to do some digging.

I bought mine from Amazon.com for something like 11.95...they have it in stock so try that!
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ctbarnes
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:42 am

All these books are good, (Hard Landing and Empires of the Sky are my favorates) but 10 and 25 years on, respectively, they're starting to look a bit dated. Anyone want to write a manuscript of the Airline Industry post September 11?

Charles, SJ
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474218
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:48 am

"The Sporty Game" by John Newhouse, great book on designing, building and selling the 747, DC-10 and L-1011.
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:52 am

"Skygods" is excellent. It's the story of the real Pan Am.

"From Worst to First" is also a good read. It tracks Continental's amazing turnaround in the 90's as told by Gordon. I really enjoyed it.
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QFA380
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:06 am

Flightpaths by Geoffrey Thomas and Cristine Forbes Smith is an excellent book about the aviation industry. It is about three years old though and was printed when the 787 was still the 7E7. It has everything about how an airline deduces ticket prices and how engine makers are building more fuel efficeint engines. I'm not sure were you can purchase it from though. It was printed in Western Australia.
 
APFPilot1985
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:08 am

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 10):
"From Worst to First" is also a good read. It tracks Continental's amazing turnaround in the 90's as told by Gordon. I really enjoyed it.

See I didnt really dig this book at all, i found it to be written at a low level, and didn't really do much for me, I didnt even finish it.
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dalneighbor
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:25 am

Southwest Passage by Lamar Muse
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elvis777
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RE: Good Books On Airline Industry?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:08 am

Hello All,

As well as the books mentioned by other members I found the following books to be informative and enjoyable read:

Contrails: A Boeing Salesman........ by Bauer (Spelling?)
The Sporty Game by Newhouse (Well written account of behind the scenes action on aircraft sales -Boeing vs McD vs Lockheed)

Fate is the hunter by Gant

Night Flight
Flight to Arras Both by A. de Saint Exupery

Twenty first Century Jet by Sabbagh (I did not care for his writing style but it has some interesting info)

Airframe by Creighton (Spelling?) Somewhat nice read if a bit paranoid.

The shepherd by Forsyth (Great short story).

Also if you are interested in WWII , you can start with Half a wing Thee Engines and A Prayer by O'neill

and Luck be a lady (about a downed B24 in the Sahara).

Peace

Elvis777
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